I have always thought that Cardiff City is a pretty quirky football club.
The past weeks events have only reinforced that view.
On Tuesday evening, the news broke that Iain Moody - Malky Mackay's trusted head of player recruitment - had been suspended by the club. It has since been confirmed that he has left his position permanently. As yet, there has not been any clarification for the reasons behind his departure.
This came just a few days after stories appeared in the press suggesting that the players and controlling shareholder, Vincent Tan were at loggerheads over bonus payments. The alleged outcome of the dispute is a seemingly uncomfortable compromise, with the players also requesting that Tan stay out of the dressing room on matchdays.
Of course rows over money and chief scouts departing football club's are hardly headline grabbers.
The confirmation that Iain Moody's temporary relacement is 23 year old Kazakhstani, Alisher Apsalyamov, a friend of Tan's son, with no previous experience in professional football, made it a far more newsworthy story. When it emerged, shortly after, that Apsalyamov had joined the club in the summer on 'work experience' and had spent at least part of his time painting the stadiums interior, then the story moved, swiftly, from a local interest one to front page national headlines.
As i have previously stated, Cardiff City has always been a 'quirky' club, even by the standards of a game that is no stranger to eccentricities.
This is a club that has, in recent times, been stripped by Tan of key elements of its identity. An institution whose nickname, 'the bluebirds,' no longer bears any correlation to the new red home strip that the team now wears. Despite the dictatorial change that led to the abandoning of over one hundred years of history and tradition, in a bizarre twist, a sizeable proportion of fans have positively embraced Tan's cavalier and hugely controversial act by purchasing the contentious red gear. Strange times...
This has come on the back of a series of pretty comical events over the past decade or so, that predate Tan's tenure. A couple of years ago, then chairman, Peter Ridsdale, a man no stranger to controversy himself, came under fire after it emerged that he had wined and dined, at the clubs expense, a Channel Islands based 'multi millionaire' potential investor called Ben Steele. In a blaze of publicity, Steele talked of grand plans for the cash strapped club and lapped up the lavish hospitality that Ridsdale treated him to. Alas, there was a flaw in the plan...to the acute embarrassment of the club and specifically Ridsdale, Steele was swiftly exposed as a chancer for whom such jaunts were commonplace.
Similarly, the Sam Hammam era that preceded Ridsdale's arrival was also something of a rollercoaster ride. Hammam delivered relative success but financial chaos. In the early days of his reign, at the then Ninian Park based club, Hammam declared that Cardiff City could be 'as big as Barcelona' and talked of teams like near neighbours Swansea City, as being 'potential feeder club's' for the slumbering giant about to emerge out of the shadows. He also floated (and swiftly retracted!) the idea of new club colours to embrace Cardiff's Celtic roots. Almost inevitably, Sam's first spell at the club ended in acrimony and near financial collapse. I say Hammam's 'first spell at the club' because, remarkably, he now finds himself sat back in the directors box at Cardiff City Stadium on a match-day, following his recent elevation to Life President of the club. A move that has been met with a decidely lukewarm response by the majority of supporters.
It will be fascinating to see how events at Cardiff City play out over the coming months. Manager, Malky Mackay is hugely popular with the fans and has done a superb job in his two and a half years at the club. If a way can be found to smooth over some of the background politics, Cardiff City look capable of cementing their premier league place under Mackay's stewardship. That said, rumours of excessive interference by Tan in team affairs, surely places doubt, not only on Malky Mackay's position but also the stability of matters on the pitch, longer term.
The fear is that the club will descend further into farce, akin to that which the Venky's have managed to create at Blackburn Rovers.
It is fair to say that the national media smell blood. We'll just have to see whether their intincts are unfounded or not.